Let’s try : 1 murder, 4 manslaughters, 56 woundings, 700 assaults, 100 cases of possessing an offensive weapon, 100 cases of obstructing a police officer and 16 other violent attacks. That means almost 1000 reasons why this ridiculous system needs to be scrapped.

What part of ‘You’ve done the crime now pay the time’ does this government not understand? Gerry Sutcliffe (Home Office Minister) and his ilk will tell you that saving £70. a day per prisoner is worth keeping this farcical scheme in place. But you know what – it isn’t.

When are these people going to learn how to see beyond the edges of their noses to understand that these ridiculous ideas are just pennywise – pound foolish. You may save 70 pounds a day now but how much more is it going to cause you in victim compensation, legal aid, and court fees when these miscreants go back out on the street and reoffend.

Sutcliffe says that less than 4% of the 130,000 out on the Home Detention Curfew scheme have reoffended. Well whoopedy-doo. Tell anyone of the 978 people who have been on the wrong end of one of these detention-dodgers that “Hey, sorry mate but the other 96% of them were ok………..”

Wouldn’t make me any happier, and frankly I don’t believe those figures anyway. I’d bet big bucks that these 978 just happened to be the ones who got caught. These wallies don’t even know for sure if these prisoners are sticking to the rules of their curfew or not so who knows how many of them are getting up to God only knows what. This tagging system is no good and it needs to be scrapped.

Morag is a HUGE fan of bringing back National Service and mentions it as often as she can – often to loud booing or raucous laughter. People seem to think she’s kidding – well guess what? She isn’t!

Of course this entire prison system of ours is not working. It is now approaching disaster stage. We’ll be putting them up at the Ritz next. We already pay our hard-earned money to cart them around by fancy chauffeur driven private car hire (I know this for a fact because someone who regularly drives Morag told her recently). So at a cost of sometimes hundreds of pounds these men get to hunker down in the back of a plush Merc while on their way to various appointments. Now I’m sorry, Morag hunkering down in the soft leather is one thing – some wee fella who is in prison for bopping my granny over the head and loping off with her pension money hunkering down is another.

I know it is a complex problem but we really do need to solve it properly instead of covering it in sticky plasters. We need to stop trying to please all the do-gooders. Prison is not supposed to be good. It is supposed to be awful and overcrowded and miserable, with bad food and boredom, and no sex and all the things that we now seem determined to eradicate.

In the 1800’s the reformer John Ruskin said about the British prison system “Let us reform our schools, and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons”- what have we learned over the past century? Seems like not very much from where I sit………….


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